Ratliff Community (Itawamba Co.) – William Lee “Billy” Bates, Sr., 68, left us way too quickly on Tuesday evening, Sept. 28, 2021 from Baptist Hospital-Booneville after a valiant fight against Covid-19. Born in Meridian, MS on December 6, 1952, the only child of the late Arthur Leo Bates and Mable Vernell Pogue Bates, he graduated from Meridian High School in 1971 and attended Meridian Community College. On Dec. 11, 1971, he married the love of his life, Marsha Jo Sparks, in Meridian. They would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this December! In February, 1975 they relocated to the Tupelo area where they have lived since. Billy was a master welder for Jesco Construction, Inc. for over 25 years. Before retiring, he worked for Big O Plumbing as an irrigation specialist. A great lover of the outdoors and outdoor activities and expert marksman, Billy loved hunting and fishing the lakes, streams and rivers of Northeast Mississippi He was an avid MSU football fan, a soccer fan, and loved going to the Florida beaches, especially Cape Sand Blast, every chance he got. His greatest love was his family, especially his four grandchildren that he enjoyed spoiling. He was a communicant of St. James Catholic Church in Tupelo.
The family asks that you respect their wishes for a private service. A time of Reflecting and Remembering will take place between 5 PM to 7 PM on Friday, October 1, 2021 at Holland Funeral Directors-Tupelo Chapel. For those unable to attend, the register book and condolences may be signed and sent to Billy’s memorial page at www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com.
Billy is survived by his wife, Marsha Sparks Bates of the Ratliff Community; two sons, William Lee “Will” Bates, Jr., and wife, Trudy, and Dustin McNeil Bates and his wife, Candi, all of Saltillo; 4 grandchildren whom “Bop” adored, Reid Littlejohn (Hanna) of Tennessee, Kaden Lee Bates, Mia Card and McNeil Bates all of Saltillo; and a host of friends and other relatives.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Holland Funeral Directors is honored to serve their friends.